Security people talk of an attack surface to describe exposure to malware and hacking. The bigger the attack surface, the more at risk you are.

Data is the fuel of a new industrial revolution, powering business changes such as digitalisation and advances in fields such as machine learning. The greater our reliance on data, the greater becomes our exposure to security risks. If data is lost, stolen or unavailable, or if we break the rules of stewardship, we become vulnerable.

In addition the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force in May 2018, introduces new requirements for the handling of personal data and fines for its mishandling. The more systems you have to protect, the greater your surface area for data loss and falling foul GDPR.

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